Shift to ‘green’ technologies inevitable even with high investment, says VEB.RF

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ST. PETERSBURG, June 8. /TASS/. The shift to ‘green’ projects in a number of cases requires high investment with a payback period from 10 to 20 years, VEB.RF Chief Economist Andrey Klepach told TASS on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, adding though that the shift is inevitable amid the present economic environment.

“The range of projects (in the field of ESG, environmental, social, governance – TASS) is quite broad. One such project entails a chain of similar ‘green’ projects. For example, if we speak about electric cars or electric buses produced by Kamaz that have already hit Moscow’s roads, it is Moscow alone that can afford such an expensive project. In order to make it cheaper and more accessible to other cities, it is necessary to actually create an entire industry, including the production of lithium-ion batteries,” Klepach explained.

“Investment payback exists there but it is rather long wait, from 10 to 15-20 years. It’s a technological challenge, and new technologies need funds,” he noted, adding that “this is the path we will be sticking to in any case, but what is important here is the price and the economics of projects,” and that “so far that is a very expensive economy.”

Responsible investment is an approach that pursues including environmental, social and governance (ESG) elements.

Currently, ESG financing is quite popular in Western countries, and it has also started becoming popular in Russia recently. Particularly, the issue of ‘green’ financing has been developing separately in Russia, which envisions furnishing funds for projects on condition of environmental improvement, easing the consequences of climate change and a more effective use of resources.

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, organized by the Roscongress Foundation, took place on June 2-5.